Diet Guidelines: 0 - 12 Months
Breast feeding with appropriate supplementation is the preferred method for feeding infants 0-12 months old (1). Iron-fortified formulas are recommendedIf the child is not breast fed or requires supplemental formula in addition to breast milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition updated their recommendations concerning infant feeding practices during the second six months of life. The committee stated that breast feeding is the preferred method of feeding during the first year of life and that whole cow's milk may be introduced after six months of age if adequate supplementary feedings are given (1). When the infants are consuming one third of their calories from a balanced mixture of iron fortified cereals, vegetables, fruits and other foods providing adequate sources of both iron and Vitamin C it is considered adequate supplementary feeding.(1) Reduced fat content milk is not recommended during infancy.
Table. Amounts of Formula Typically Taken On A Self-Demanded Schedule
Solid foods can usually be introduced between four and seven months of age. Early solids should be plain and introduced gradually one at a time, starting with iron-fortified infant cereals and progressing to pureed vegetables, fruits, and meats. The texture of solid foods fed to the infant will vary depending on age and individual ability. By the end of the first year, chopped table foods should be the basis of the diet. Adequate nutrients should be provided for normal growth and steady-but not excessive-weight gain. The amount should be regulated by the infant's appetite, provided that the growth rate is normal.
For additional information, please visit the Children's Health and Nutrition Centers.
Reference: 1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition: The Use of Whole Cow's Milk in Infancy. Pediatrics, 1983 72:253-255
Last Editorial Review: 8/14/2003